Going to the Garden!

This year has been the best year yet for our community garden according to Waneta Benson, the current garden coordinator! The garden can be found behind the garage in the back lot and it’s home to six raised beds growing tomatoes, greens, cauliflower, peppers, herbs, berries, and more, which the gardeners will harvest and enjoy with their families. There is also a bench with some decorative flower boxes where people can relax and soak up the scenery. Community gardens are a great way for children to learn where their food comes from and a creative utilization of vacant lots to create green space in cities. Our garden has evolved over the years and future projects may include painting a mural or growing vines and flowers on the fence that encloses the garden to attract pollinators! What a beautiful way to strengthen community and care for creation!

Alyssa Parker Article on Education Inequity Featured in Messenger!

Our very own Alyssa Parker contributed an article called “Race, education, and the church” to the most recent edition of the Church of the Brethren’s magazine Messenger. The piece traces Harrisburg First’s journey of gaining a deeper understanding of educational inequity in Pennsylvania as well as taking action to combat it. Check it out here!

Alyssa’s article first appeared in the Messenger, magazine of the Church of the Brethren, in the June 2021 issue. To subscribe to Messenger, contact your church representative (if your church has a Messenger club) or start a subscription for just $17.50 at www.brethren.org/messenger/subscribe.

You can also view a series of Sunday Studies on the topic on the church’s YouTube channel!

Inequity in Education- ZOOM Sunday Study w/ Gimbiya Kettering 3/28/21

ZOOM Sunday Study- Inequity in Education w/ Sunada Roberts & Chloe Oustrich 5/20/21

ZOOM Sunday Study- “Inequity in Education – Part 2” w/ Sunada Roberts & Chloe Oustrich 6/13/21

And here are some links compiled in a pdf about how you can get involved, as well as a PowerPoint presentation that accompanies the Sunday Studies with Sunada and Chloe!

Education Inequity Links

Education Inequity PowerPoint

Congratulations Graduates!

On May 2nd we recognized 8 college graduates leaving from 4 different institutions! Some of these graduates grew up in the church and were participants and leaders in church programs as well as bcmPEACE programs like Bright Futures and Agape Satyagraha. Two of these recognized graduates were able to continue their education thanks to our Scholarship Fund. Without this resource, it would have been much harder, if even possible, for them to be able to attend post-secondary education.

  Each of the Graduates were called forward and recognized personally during our live outdoor worship. They were presented with an inspirational book called “Common Prayer a Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.” which is a book of prayer and song by several different and very accomplished authors that we hope provides inspiration for their next steps in life. Career choices differed from wanting to work in the CIA or FBI to becoming a social worker or going to Seminary. Some want to stay here in Allison Hill and contribute to the neighborhood and some are following their calling to create a new home. 

There is a children’s song that says “it only takes a spark to get a fire going”. These graduates are the spark and the fire they ignite is going to change the world

Black History Month Reading and Movie Suggestions!

Black History Month Read And Watch List


The following list of recommendations was taken from a recent Facebook Post by Dominique Gilliard with some additions from Dr. Drew Hart. Please keep in mind that many of these films and books are for mature audiences and may have some themes that aren’t suitable for young children.


Watch list:

  1. When They See Us (Netflix)
  2. True Justice (HBO—or EJI)
  3. I Am Not Your Negro (Prime)
  4. Banished (documentary)
  5. One Night in Miami (Prime)
  6. Between the World and Me (HBO)
  7. All In: The Fight for Democracy (Prime)
  8. Just Mercy (HBO Max)
  9. Slavery By Another Name (PBS—or YouTube)
  10. The Best of Enemies (Hulu)

11.Judas and the Black Messiah (releases Feb. 12 on HBO Max).

  1. Malcolm X
  2. Hidden Figures
  3. Harriet
  4. Selma
  5. Fruitvale Station
  6. King in the Wilderness
  7. Citizen King
  8. Eyes on the Prize
  9. 13th


Reading list:

  1. Jesus and the Disinherited
  2. The Color of Compromise
  3. The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race
  4. After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging
  5. Rethinking Incarceration
  6. The Warmth of Other Suns
  7. The Cross and the Lynching Tree
  8. In My Grandmother’s House
  9. A Knock at Midnight
  10. Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents
  11. The Color of Christ
  12. The Color of Money
  13. The Color of Law
  14. From Here to Equality
  15. The Radical King
  16. The Half Has Never Been Told